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Posted on: July 13, 2015

Dancers are athletes. The kinds of stresses on a dancer's body are the same as for an athlete in any physically demanding sport. That's why sports physical therapy, and specifically massage therapy, can be very beneficial to dancers. So, when should a dancer get massage treatment? Is it better before dancing or after? What about during down times like travel days or days between rehearsals and performances? The answer to the question "before or after" is really "both." But the crucial question really is, "What kinds of massage techniques are best at the various points of a dancers busy schedule?" To get the most benefit, seek the guidance of a professional massage therapist. You may want to find someone who specializes in massage for dancers. Otherwise, a sports massage therapist will know what to do. There are three points at which massage will provide the most benefit. So, there are three appropriate types of massage for dance.


Before


What a dancer needs at this point is to prepare the body to move. Traditional stretching and warm-up movements prepare the body very well. But short, vigorous massage can used to supplement them. These massage techniques will stimulate blood flow and warm the muscles. Self-massage can be easily applied at this time.


After


At this point, there are more options, depending on need. For instance, light to medium pressure is good for relaxation and recovery. Sustained static pressure can relieve pain and restore range of motion.


In Between Days


Deep tissue and vigorous techniques are best when the body has time to recover from therapy. These are highly intensive applications that require a massage therapist trained for sports or related impacts and injuries. These are the some of the ways massage can be most beneficial to dancers.

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